Summer is upon us here in the northern hemisphere, the time to enjoy patios, cottages and walks in the cool summer evenings. This leads me to my post this month…PLANTAR FASCIITIS.
As mentioned in my previous blog post; after long winters in thick socks and warm cozy boots, ease into the flat and often times unsupportive summer sandals. The extreme changes could play a factor in causing some tender tootsies, resulting in the painful condition known as Plantar Fasciitis.
So, what is plantar fasciitis? What are the causes? How does massage therapy help? How to prevent it?
Plantar fasciitis: Is an overuse injury resulting in inflammation of the plantar fascia (recall that fascia- is a dense layer of connective tissue, which is similar to layers upon layers of saran wrap). Often times plantar fasciitis affects one foot but sometimes both.
repetitive strain/ overuse (running)
repeated jumping exercises (skipping, box jumps and burpees)
poor foot biomechanics
poor gait (ie. walking patterns)
improper footwear (or old running shoes that have been used for miles)
unsupportive shoe i.e. summer sandals
lack of stretching the lower leg muscles (gastrocnemius and soleus muscles)
pregnancy or weight gain
prolonged standing at work/ walking around Disney Land 😉
How can Massage Therapy help?
Your massage therapist will first do an assessment to see which structures are shortened/tight versus stretched/weak.
The goal of massage treatment is to breakdown any adhesions within the fascia or muscles to alleviate tension and pain.
Increase circulation and decrease sympathetic firing and pain
Gain back ROM (range of motion) if this has become restricted.
Release compensating structures, which may refer pain into the lower limb or foot.
Passive stretching of the lower limb/foot.
Contrast foot bath (hot/cold)
Stretching tight muscles (gastrocnemius and soleus)
Strengthening weakened muscles
Heating pad on the tight muscles
Ice, on the ball of the foot
Correcting improper footwear